Authors: Carmen Cox
(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry has overseen the most executions of any governor in the history of this country, but the rate at which the state of Texas has executed people was actually higher under his predecessor, George W. Bush.
Under Perry, Texas has executed 235 people over nearly 11 years -- amounting to more than 21 people per year. During Bush’s five-year tenure as governor, 152 people were executed in Texas -- more than 30 per year.
Perry has never been shy about his support of the death penalty. At a Republican debate in California earlier this month, he drew cheers from the audience when he said he loses no sleep over the executions conducted in Texas and that the death penalty serves as the “ultimate justice.”
“In the state of Texas, if you come into our state and you kill one of our children, you kill a police officer, you’re involved with another crime and you kill one of our citizens, you will face the ultimate justice in the state of Texas, and that is you will be executed,” Perry said in a debate.
In his book, Fed Up! Perry opined about the need to leave the decisions on the death penalty to the states and not to the Supreme Court.
“In the end, the states know best how they wish to punish criminals and for what crimes. Are we perfect? No,” Perry wrote. “For Washington, and in particular the Supreme Court, to step in and tell us, our friends in Louisiana, or any other state, whether it is right to execute a heinous criminal -- or tell us how to carry out justice -- is the height of arrogance and disregards federalism at its most basic level.”
In the past 10 days, four executions were scheduled to take place in Texas. One occurred early last week, and the most recent execution was carried out Wednesday evening. However, the Supreme Court also halted two Texas executions that were scheduled to take place in the past 10 days.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio